It's the grind of the ordinary that produces the biggest change

“We often look for changes in ourselves during the monumental moments in life, but more often it is the grind of the ordinary that produces the biggest change. You never see them as they are happening, only after they are complete. Hiking up the Himalayas is slow and you don’t feel like you gain much ground with each step, but five hours later when you stand at the summit and look down on the cloud-filled valley, you finally realize how far you have come. The same has been true spiritually over the three months we have been here. The endurance it has taken to thrive in such a different place - just like climbing a mountain - has given me confidence in God that I really can do all things in His strength.”
— Eric, South Asia Student Fall 2016

Sixteen years ago, I took a class that led to a realization that changed my life and began our journey. I began to see and learn that the entire Bible is about one narrative—God bringing all people groups to Himself. I further learned that there are 2.9 billion people in the world who have never heard the story of Jesus and the majority of them live in one area—the 10/40 Window.

So, I launched Cafe 1040 to help change that. But what could we do to help get more missionaries in the places where they were most needed? And who would those missionaries be?

Answers to my questions began to present themselves and drove the creation of Cafe 1040, and they still do today.

  • 95% of long-term missionaries were serving among people groups that already have the gospel. We saw an opportunity to engage the church in completing the Great Commission.

  • We realized there was a gap in the missionary process, a gap between short-term trips and long-term commitment. We explored an opportunity to fill the gap.

  • We discovered many young adults were courageously considering a unique set of Kingdom-oriented priorities over worldly priorities. Again, we saw an opportunity.

But mobilizing the emerging generation of missionaries to unreached peoples did not happen overnight. It has been a slow and steady climb. We are always tweaking our program, and exploring new ways to move a generation through the missionary process and into long-term commitment among unreached peoples.

In 2017, we will consider even more ways to empower millennials and help answer the questions they are asking about long-term missions. In response to their needs we are now offering a new one-month program in addition to our successful three-month program. We are laying the foundation to begin offering a longer-term Missions Apprenticeship Program among one of the largest unreached people groups in Asia!

We will continue to ask young adults where they are in the process and encourage them forward to the next step. We are committed to seeing this next generation complete the Great Commission, and we are willing to go to great lengths and take significant risks to accomplish that goal.

We know that every tribe, tongue, and nation will stand before the throne. The Bible tells us so. We can see the top of the mountain. Our journey will end in victory and we are thankful to play a small role in God’s plan.

Thank you for being a part of this vision to mobilize a generation to tell the story of Jesus Christ where it has never been told. We don’t always get a mountaintop view, so enjoy this opportunity to look back and see all the small steps that have brought us to today.


Chuck Phillips                              Founder and Executive Director